Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My First Fabric Haul (in years) Leads to the Beginning of a SWAP

Well, the fates have conspired ... not against me or for me ... just conspired. I've been organizing my sewing supplies and collecting the old fabric from sewing projects never sewn, determined not to buy more fabric until I get through some of the old stash.

But ... I took a left when I usually walk straight ... literally. I was working downtown this morning and things went faster and smoother than I expected. I had more time between appointments and I was walking my usual route when I decided to take a left instead of continuing down the street. And there, in the middle of the block, were two little fabric stores, side by side.

I had a little time. I haven't been in a fabric store in at least five years. I thought it would be nice to get a feel for things to come. Can you say "kid in a candy shop.?"

The first store was overwhelming: huge bolts of fabrics; a big barrel of vintage buttons and racks of new buttons, fasteners, notions; beads and yarn, trims and threads. The border fabrics and African prints had me dizzy with the possibilities. I took the store's card and manage to make it out the door with my wallet still in my bag.

Feeling confident, I walked into the second store to more of the same ...and beads. But I have plenty of beads. So, I began to walk through the rows of fabrics, daydreaming of a closet filled with my handmade clothes. They were just daydreams until ... I passed the rack of remnents ... 75% off. Oh my!

No, it didn't matter. After all, I have fabric at home and my first project is planned, a yellow stretch terry top.

And the fates stepped in again. You see, before leaving the house I had taken most of the money out of my wallet. With what I had planned for the day I knew I couldn't spend more than $20.00 on fabric and what would I find for $20.00 ... actually for $17.37?

Behold, clockwise from top left, 1 1/2 yards of 45" 100% cotton print, 4 yards of 60" wide 100% rayon challis floral print (in two pieces)and 2 yards of 45" wide poly/cotton rainbow striped fabric.

I say the fates stepped in again because if I hadn't taken that money out of my wallet, I would have spent it all. There was one other piece of the rayon challis and two of the poly/cotton blend. And there were so many other pieces I was just itching to pick up. But for $17.37 I feel pretty guilt-free.

I grabbed a quick lunch and finished my work day and rushed home. I couldn't wait to pick out patterns. I know, I'm getting ahead of myself ... or, I'm creating a SWAP. Oh, that sounds - I mean is - much better.

The early 1990's won the cotton print, McCall's 5372.

I have just enough for view E, the bottom left and middle views but I would love to add a short sleeve to that. We'll see.

The 1910's won the poly/cotton stripe, Mary Manton 9498.

I love this pattern and could make either view with the amount of fabric I have. But I think I will use a different fabric, perhaps a lace or border fabric for the square collar and cuffs. The best thing is that this is a larger size pattern which will make the alterations easier for me.

I haven't come up with the patterns for the rayon challis. At first I thought I would make a simple shell and cardigan but then I unfolded the pattern and it made me think of postcards of Southern California and Hawaii before WWII. It drapes so beautifully. A 1930's dress? A 1940's dress? skirt and top?

I welcome your suggestions and please don't forget to vote on the pattern for my second - which may become my third - project here. I'm trying to break the tie.

Happy Sewing!

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